The Thursday after he gave his first address to Congress, President Joe Biden sat down for an interview with NBC. Despite the escalating crisis, he continues to deny that it is a crisis.
He began by referring to the increase in illegal immigrants at the border as a “seasonal” spike and, unsurprisingly, blamed it once again on the former administration.
“Before you took office in January, you laid out four crises that demanded urgent action. The pandemic was obviously one of them. The economic fallout as a result of the pandemic was one of them. Climate change and racial inequality,” the NBC host said. “Immigration was not one of the crises that demanded urgent action in January. Does it demand urgent action now? Is what’s happening at the southern border — is it a crisis?”
“A month ago, we had thousands of young kids in custody in places they shouldn’t be, controlled by the Border Patrol. We have now cut that down dramatically. Look, here’s what happened—the failure to have a real transition, Biden responded, again pushing the blame to someone else. “The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the Immigration and the Defense Department. So we didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably.”
“But in April alone, Mr. President, 170,000 people—migrants—apprehended at the border. It’s a 20-year record. There are 22,000 unaccompanied children in our country right now. That’s a record that sounds to most folks like a crisis,” the host continued.
“Look, it’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control,” Biden said slowly. “For example, in 2010, they didn’t have the available beds. They didn’t plan for the overflow. They didn’t plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to have places to take the kids from the Border Patrol and put them in beds where there’s security and people that could take care of them.”
“So there’s a significant change right now,” Biden emphasized. “Significant change in the circumstance for children coming to and at the border.”
“During the campaign, you pledged to reunite hundreds of children who have been separated from their parents by the previous administration,” the NBC host responded. “According to our reporting, and in your first 100 days, not one child has been reunited.”
“I don’t think that’s true,” Biden said. “But that could be.”
“What we have done is we have reunited children with their families as they’ve come across the border. But one of the things is we don’t know yet where those kids are, and we’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. It’s almost like being a sleuth, and we’re continuing to try like hell to find out where they are,” Biden added.
Maybe if he hadn’t incentivized migrants to cross the border illegally, then they wouldn’t have to “try like hell to find out where they are.”